Cathy Payne.

Cathy Payne surprised the international TV business when she announced last October she would step down as CEO of Endemol Shine International in early 2020.

That was two weeks before the French-based entertainment giant Banijay launched a $US2.2 billion takeover of the Endemol Shine Group.

Now she’s set to take the role of head of distribution at Banijay Group and CEO of Banijay Rights. According to Deadline, she will take over from Tim Mutimer. It’s understood Mutimer will move to a new role in the group.

A Banijay spokesperson declined to comment. The takeover is expected to be completed in the next few months after The Walt Disney Company and Apollo Global Management agreed to sell their stakes in ESG.

In Australia it’s unclear what the deal will mean for the management led by Screentime’s CEO Rory Callaghan and Endemol Shine Australia co-CEO’s Mark and Carl Fennessy.

Last October Payne said she was looking forward to a “brand new challenge.” Combining Banijay Rights and Endemol Shine International will certainly be that.

A former CEO of Southern Star International, she was promoted to CEO of ESG in 2014 following the merger of Endemol Worldwide Distribution and Shine International.

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